In the future, we will all have dessert. Even in the 32nd Century, “cake is eternal,” as evident by Sylvia Tilly and Michael Burnham in the Discovery episode “People of Earth.” And the best part about dessert in the future of the Federation? There's no need to think of it as a guilty pleasure. On the Enterprise, Discovery, Cerritos, Voyager, or Defiant, you can have any dessert you want, free of judgment.
As part of Star Trek.com’s Summer of Sweet Revenge, we took a hard look at every single Star Trek TV series and determined which dessert pairs best with each show. Whether you choose non-sugar and/or gluten-free versions of these sweet treats, it’s up to you! And of course, if you mix-and-match desserts, nobody has to know. Except Q. Q always knows what dessert you’re having, and probably wants some, too.
On to the list!
Star Trek: The Original Series: Cheesecake
The classic 1960s series that launched the Star Trek phenomenon is rarely accused of being too subtle. Star Trek: The Original Series lays it on thick, in ways that are both rich and sweet. A giant slice of cheesecake goes well with nearly every single episode of TOS, but goes especially well with some of the comedy hits like “A Piece of the Action” or “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Even within good cheesecake, there are layers, and even in the silliest of classic Star Trek, the same thing is true.
Star Trek: The Animated Series: Cotton Candy
In 1973, the Saturday morning cartoon version of Star Trek, was, in theory, aimed at kids. Although TAS retains the high-concept philosophy of the classic series, there is a funhouse mirror quality to the series. It’s sweet and airy, and certainly, something kids can enjoy like a ride at the carnival. For all these reasons, cotton candy is obviously the perfect pairing for Star Trek: The Animated Series; it's delicious and makes you feel like a kid again.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chocolate Sundae
In honor of Deanna Troi, The Next Generation demands something decadent and chocolatey. Because The Next Generation is many things at the same time — a sequel to The Original Series as well as the foundation for two other shows — a dessert that contains various flavors seems appropriate. A chocolate sundae isn’t just chocolate; you’ve got the ice cream, and even a cherry on top. From Troi to Geordi, you can imagine the whole TNG crew enjoying a chocolate sundae, especially out of one of those cozy Ten Forward serving cups.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Creme Brulee
Some might say Deep Space Nine is an acquired taste; and sometimes the same thing can be said about creme brulee. Those of us who have had creme brulee know, it’s one of the most delicious things on the planet, and the fact that people don’t order it more is just their loss. It’s the dessert of the sophisticated eater, and DS9 is the Star Trek series that demands attention and patience from the viewer. You can’t casually eat creme brulee. It’s an active process, and there’s that whole thing where you use your spoon to get it going. Watching and loving Deep Space Nine is the same. One does not simply casually watch DS9! It’s a whole process.
Star Trek: Voyager: Chocolate Souffle
In the Voyager episode “Riddles,” Tuvok makes a dessert called Tera nut soufflé, which later, is augmented by Seven of Nine with chocolate. Neelix also learned how to make this dessert, which means the notion of creating a sweet souffle is something the Voyager crew pretty much does together. This makes a chocolate souffle the perfect dessert for Voyager. Although souffles are difficult to make, a chocolate souffle will bring you home every time.
Star Trek: Enterprise: Strawberry Shortcake
There’s something about the early 22nd Century of Star Trek: Enterprise that feels like a nice picnic outdoors. Maybe it’s Dr. Phlox’s sweetness. Maybe it’s Hoshi’s unflappable kindness. Maybe it’s because you can imagine “Faith of the Heart,” playing outside in a park. Either way, for whatever reason, having a strawberry shortcake feels right for Enterprise. It’s wholesome, down-to-Earth, and delicious. Best of all, if you think you don’t like it, you’re probably wrong.
Star Trek: Discovery: Hummingbird Cake
You knew this one was coming. When Tilly and Burnham claim, “cake is eternal,” they’re talking about hummingbird cake. What is a hummingbird cake you ask? It’s a layer cake that features bananas, pineapple, and pecans. It’s a notoriously difficult cake to make, and some say it tastes like a vacation in cake form. Because of its various layers and bold flavor combinations, and because Tilly loves it, hummingbird cake is perfect for Discovery. The cake is totally different from all other cakes; it’s got a lot of layers, and anyone who says they don’t like it hasn’t tried it.
Star Trek: Picard: Red Velvet Cake
Red velvet cake is notoriously rich. It’s the kind of cake you want when you’re serious about a big dessert, which is why it’s perfect for Star Trek: Picard. This series is a filling drama, with equal parts sweet and savory details. Plus, in Picard Season 1, we learned that Agnes Jurati loves red velvet. Without Jurati, the universe would be in big trouble following Season 2 of Picard. Red velvet is both delicious and feels more than a little dangerous. Just like Jean-Luc. Like Raffi. Like Seven. Like Jurati. Like Soji. Like Elnor. Like Rios. You get it! The La Sirena crew is the red velvet of the final frontier.
Star Trek: Lower Decks: Pumpkin Pie
Okay, Lower Decks tends to start airing new episodes in the summer, usually around August. This wouldn’t make you think of it as a show connected to autumn, and yet, it tends to wrap up around Halloween, just before Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie is so associated with family and being thankful that it seems perfect for Lower Decks. This is the Star Trek series that celebrates all versions of Star Trek no matter what, and brings every iteration of the franchise to the table at the same time. So, because it’s the most thankful Trek, pumpkin pie seems perfect.
Also, pumpkin pie is great, and we can easily imagine Boimler loving it.
Star Trek: Prodigy: Cupcakes
Cupcakes are a staple at kids' birthday parties for a reason. They’re small, delicious, and easy to eat. Prodigy is an approachable version of Star Trek that lets young people explore the expansive final frontier without overwhelming anyone. Cupcakes are the same— compact, and a great way for people to sample different flavors. Prodigy contains countless Star Trek ideas and storylines, all designed to provide a sampler for the uninitiated. So, cupcakes it is!
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: Cookies
Returning to an episodic format, Strange New Worlds offers up a nearly self-contained story each week. Some of these episodes are wildly different from each other, too! Like all of Star Trek, the diversity of ideas and stories is part of what makes the format so appealing. And because of this, it’s logical to choose cookies to pair with Strange New Worlds. What kind of cookies, you ask? That’s up to you. One week, Strange New Worlds might hand you an oatmeal cookie (“Children of the Comet”), and pretty soon, right around the corner (“Spock Amok”), you’ve got a double-stacked Oreo. An assortment of different cookies is what Strange New Worlds is all about.
But, if you want to incorporate some cookies with all the other Star Trek series, that works too. Hit it!
Ryan Britt (he/him) is the author of the 2022 nonfiction book Phasers on Stun! How the Making and Remaking of Star Trek Changed the World. He’s an editor at Fatherly and his writing appears regularly with Inverse and Den of Geek! Ryan is also the author of the 2015 essay collection Luke Skywalker Can’t Read. He lives in Portland, Maine with his wife and daughter. He is currently writing a nonfiction book about Dune called The Spice Must Flow, out from Plume/Dutton (Penguin Random House) in 2023.
Star Trek: Discovery currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Internationally, the series is available on Paramount+ in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics, and on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Star Trek: Discovery is distributed by Paramount Global Distribution Group.
Star Trek: Picard streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and is distributed concurrently by Paramount Global Distribution Group on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Star Trek: Lower Decks streams exclusively in the United States and Latin America on Paramount+, on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, India and more, and in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Star Trek: Prodigy currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in U.S. and Australia, and is coming soon to Paramount+ in Latin America and the Nordics as well as to Nickelodeon international channels, which are available in 180 countries globally. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Prodigy is distributed by Paramount Global Distribution Group.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia & the Nordics. The series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel & streams on Crave in Canada with additional international availability to be announced at a later date. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.